I stayed here with my wife and 3 kids (aged 8,6 and 2) for the first 2 weeks in July 2011. We arrived on the Glasgow flight (great flight times with Thomas cook) and the entire coach from Faro was going to the same place - so no extra drop offs - this made for a good transfer time of about 40 mins but meant check-in was pretty hectic and took quite a while to get checked in - not the best with 3 tired kids !
However once we got checked in and after a bit of a queue, we caught the golf buggy down to our room in S block down at the Aquamarina side of the complex. As many have mentioned Adriana and Aquamarina are now the same resort - although it looks huge on the map it's actually not that big, you can walk from one end to the other in 10 minutes although the golf buggies are a big help with all the luggage.
S block is a great location - right next to the Aquamarina pool and is where most of the UK contingent on resort seemed to be situated. It's owned by a French company so most of the European guests were up at the Adriana side of the complex, which is where the entertainment team are based - again these are french although they speak 4 or 5 languages, but anyone can join in. They run activites throughout the day such as volleyball, football, games etc but being based down at Aquamarina you won't know they are on unless you go up to the mail pool as the entertainers don't venture down that way. Personally this was great as you didn't get bothered by loud music etc and there were always loads of sunbeds and more importantly shade from the numerous parasols. Even if the parasols are taken, the garden grounds have loads of sunbeds and you can find shade under the trees - an ideal setup.
Our room was labelled as interconnecting but we actually had 2 rooms with an outer door that could be locked - this meant 2 bathrooms, tv's, balcony's, safes, fridges and cupboard space, perfect for a family of 4 or 5. The rooms were clean and spacious and the maids very friendly and appeared everyday at varying times. Also as we were AI due to our proximity to the pool and bar we could nip down for a drink and bring it back to the room while you got ready for dinner.
Food was generally good although I agree with most reviews in that it got a bit repetative and sometimes the meat was pretty tough. They also labelled some dishes as "chefs surprise" on occasion, personally I like to know what i'm eating ! The main restaurant had the best choice but did get very busy at peak times - if you have kids go between 18:30 and 19:00 and you will have the best choice of the food and the place to yourself which is a lot less stressful. Breakfast was good although their sausages and the coffee I found disgusting, the bread could also seem a bit stale at times. The restaurants at aquamarina were also good but had less of a selection and are obviously a bit smaller.
The staff we found to be very friendly and helpful and I reckon it's mainly down to the fact that the whole resort is AI so there is no suspicion you are buying drinks for non AI guests as there aren't any - thus you can go to the bar and get 4 or 5 drinks at a time without a problem. The only grumble is that you have to have your room key with you which some of the staff scan, some don't bother but it sort of defeats the purpose of having a wrist band when you need the room key as well.
If you are going with Thomas Cook don't expect to see the Rep much as they are not at the resort an awful lot. We actually ended up with two on our stay as the first had resigned and was flying home the first week we were there - the second probably felt like burying her head in the sand due to a major power cut on the middle of the night in the first week - the whole town was out however the Adriana section of the complex had a backup generator, the Aquamarina part didn't so we were in total darkness for that night and of course the restaraunt etc was all out of commission down at our end of the complex - this took about 3 days to resolve properly (including the water) but left a lot of folks unhappy. It was a major fault in the town and not the hotels fault but the lack of communication from the rep was pretty poor and she could have found out a lot more information for the guests instead of running away ! Friends of ours daughter was diabetic so needed her insulin kept in a fridge overnight but the rep wasn't much help with this either !
On a brighter note the kids rep girls Vicki and Emma were great and my kids really enjoyed kids club. They were actually refurbishig the kids club hut when we were there so future guests will have air con and a new floor to welcome them and it's situated down at the aquamarina side of the complex. This is a UK only kids club and is free if you booked a package with TC, however, they have 3 parties a week which they charge you for - if you go to all three it's 25 euros per child (10 euro discount) which I felt was a bit steep as we've never been charged extra for kids club before. However the kids loved it and it gives you a couple of hours off - beware though, if they are going to the chocolate party send them in old clothes as they come back covered from head to toe - literally.
As many have mentioned the resort is very isolated so don't expect to go for a walk out to the shops. There is a courtesy coach that runs 4 times a day into Albufeira but we didn't find the town very appealing so only went once. We also did the day trip to Aquashow, as with all holiday excursions they are a bit of a rip off but it's a good park with plenty to do for all ages and the bus that takes you is open top so lotion up before you go - you are also the last pickup and first drop off which is ideal.
The beach is accessed out the back of the complex via a secure door which you need your room key to get back into. It's just as well the fence and gates are there as once you are beyond them there is nothing to prevent little kids venturing over the cliffs. At the point where the hotel is situated the cliff drop is huge and there are about 95 steps down to the beach itself - all well and good going there but not as much fun coming back with towels and children under your arms ! There is also nothing at the beach, no snack bars or people selling refreshments so you'll need to take everything with you. Once you are there it's stunning, quiet and lovely shallow water, we just found it hard going with 3 young kids !
Finally a word of warning about your return journey in that Faro airport is the biggest rip-off airport I have ever been to for food and drink - 6 euros for a plain burger and roughly 15 euros for burger and chips - have a big breakfast or take stuff with you and don't give them the satisfaction !
I'd go back to Aquamarina but would hope to get situated back at the end of the complex we were - hope this was useful.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in an area of 17 hectares, Adriana Beach Club Hotel Resort has 439 rooms, providing family environment, diverse service offer and quality care. Situated in Olhos de Água, in the municipality of Albufeira, in the Algarve, this Resort is housed in natural environment and enjoys a privileged location next to the beach, guaranteeing the peace and privacy of our guests, yet ideal for holding events. The proximity of the city of Albufeira and Vilamoura tourist complex, two tourist destinations and animation of the region represents an alternative for those who prefer to explore the potential around the hotel. The All Inclusive concept takes in this hotel its highest expression, given that waiver include the diverse range of services provided. Adriana Beach Club Hotel Resort offers a huge variety of buffets in our 3 Restaurants: A main Restaurant and two theme restaurants(availability and time-tables may change and are subject to seasonal demand), which include meat and fish dishes, as well as vegetarian options, freshly baked pizzas,soups, pasta, salads and desserts. Throughout the day, in addition to the main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), there are snacks. Drinks are also included, throughout the day and during all meals. There is water, soft drinks, beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks. In our hotel, the All Inclusive offer theme nights, where our buffets change and give you the possibility of enjoying new dishes: Portuguese, asian, tropical, mexican and many more. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Jet2Holidays , Expedia, Booking.com, TravelUp, Travel Republic (UK), LoveHolidays, Hotels.com, HotelsClick, Ebookers, TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd, HotelQuickly, 5viajes2012 S.L., getaroom.com and Cancelon so you can book your Adriana Beach Club Hotel Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Aquamarina Beach Club Hotel Olhos De Agua
- Aquamarina Beach Hotel
- Aquamarina Beach Albufeira
- Adriana Beach Club Hotel Resort Portugal/Algarve - Albufeira